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UK shares dip as British inflation data reignites taper fears

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians leave and enter the London Stock Exchange in London, Britain August 15, 2017. REUTERS/Neil Hall/File Photo

(Reuters) – UK shares fell on Wednesday, dragged by industrial and consumer discretionary stocks, after data showed British inflation hit a more than nine-year high in August and reignited concerns about a sooner-than-expected policy tightening by the Bank of England.

The blue-chip index slipped 0.1%, with mobile operator Vodafone (LON:), food delivery company Just Eat and Ladbrokes (LON:) owner Entain slipping between 0.8% and 2.4% to weigh the most on the index.

The domestically focused mid-cap declined 0.2%.

Consumer prices rose by 3.2% in annual terms after a 2% rise in July, marking the sharpest increase in the annual rate since detailed records started in 1997, largely due to a one-off boost reflecting the “Eat Out to Help Out” scheme that pushed down restaurant meal prices last year.

Still, the data came on the heels of a strong jobs report, with the focus now shifting to BoE’s policy meeting next week as policymakers remain split on whether basic conditions for a rate hike are met by the economy.

Among other stocks, Darktrace jumped 10.4% after the cybersecurity company increased its revenue growth forecast for its 2022 financial year, reflecting strong demand for its AI-driven products.

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